The MAVERIC Survey: New Compact Binaries Revealed by Deep Radio Continuum Observations of the Galactic Globular Cluster Terzan 5
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Owing to its massive, dense core, Terzan 5 has the richest population of millisecond pulsars (MSPs) known among Galactic globular clusters. Here we report new deep 2-8 GHz radio continuum observations of Terzan 5 obtained with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. We have identified a total of 24 sources within the cluster half-light radius, including 17 within the core radius. Nineteen are associated with previously studied MSPs and X-ray binaries. Three of the new radio sources have steep radio spectra and are located within the cluster core, as expected for MSPs. These three sources have hard X-ray photon indices (Γ = 1.3-1.5) and highly variable X-ray emission, suggesting they are binary MSPs belonging to the spider class. For the most X-ray luminous of these sources, the redback spider classification is confirmed by its X-ray light curve, which shows an orbital period of 12.32 hr and double-peaked structure around X-ray maximum. The likely discovery of bright binary MSPs in a well-studied cluster like Terzan 5 highlights how deep radio continuum imaging can complement pulsar search and timing observations in finding probable eclipsing systems. The other new radio source in the core has a flat radio spectrum and is X-ray faint (erg s-1) with a photon index Γ = 2.1 ± 0.5, consistent with the properties expected for a quiescent stellar-mass black hole X-ray binary.
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